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The Beauty of Wood Flooring

Gleaming hardwood floors, rich in color and smooth under foot, are a much beloved feature in most homes. Wood flooring offers more than aesthetic appeal, they can be seen as “green”, allergen free and a boost to resale value in a home.

Engineered hardwood vs. solid hardwood: to some homeowners this may be a simple answer spelled out in dollar signs. There is more to consider than simply the cost associated with wood flooring, as the location of the room, size and use are also factors that contribute to the decision of solid vs. engineered. A bathroom, kitchen or finished basement will all have varying temperatures and moisture issues, as well as exposure to products that could potentially stain them, so engineered hardwood is a better choice for these spaces. A living, dining or family room will need to stand up to heavier foot traffic volume, so a solid hardwood should be the optimal choice for these rooms. A bedroom can go with either, if it is on a first or second story of the home, but a basement or attic bedroom will require the sub floor to be evaluated prior to installation due to temperature, moisture and variables in the sub floor.

Few people will argue that wood flooring is a valuable asset to any home, in particular, they are a favorite feature of relators who love to point them out to potential homebuyers. Colors, stains and finishes may vary dependent upon the style and era of a home. Older homes tend to have wide plank, solid wood floors that may require a sanding and refinish, but have character that cannot be replicated. Solid wood will allow 3-4 sanding and refinishes over the life of the floor. Newer or new construction homes are more often than not outfitted with engineered hardwood that calls for less intensive maintenance, but may only allow one sanding and refinishing. Both solid and engineered wood flooring can accommodate varying patterns and inlays, styles and finishes allowing for custom features that appeal to the customer.

A wood floor will be installed over a prepped and leveled sub floor using nails, glue or staples. Some engineered floors are allowed to “float” upon installation allowing for the wood to contract and retract in extreme climates. Maintaining wood flooring can be as simple as vacuuming and light mopping with vinegar and water once a week, with a 2 time a year cleaning with a specialty product from the floor company to restore the floor’s seal.

Whether oak (white or red), birch, maple, cherry or walnut is chosen as the way to go, a stain and finish will also need to be selected by the client. More exotic woods that are popular today are Brazilian cherry, cork, zebrawood and bamboo, which is a particular favorite of people who are “green” conscious. Bamboo is touted as a less expensive, renewable and sustainable wood that has an impressive ability to stand up to heavy foot traffic.

In addition to the beauty, mass appeal and resale value that wood flooring brings to a home, one other factor to consider is the point made by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency): wood floors are resistant to dust mites, allergens and most molds, unlike their counterpart, carpeting.

Choose a company that offers certifiedFeature Articles, licensed and bonded installers and a Warranty or Lifetime Guarantee and enjoy the beauty that wood floors bring to the home.

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